Promise to Yourself
Promise to Yourself
Why this petition matters
“Terror of the unknown is embodied in mental illness and, as a result, society does not treat the mentally ill as it does those suffering from other kinds of pain” (Garfinkle & Goldbloom, 2000). As society advances and new discoveries are made, mental health continues to get worse and worse. According to Stats Canada, 33.1% of Canadians suffer from any select disorder in their lifetime, mental or substance, which is more than the previous years. Majority of that group also have reported to require mental health services (Appendix A), but there is still about 15% unaccounted for, not receiving tools for improvement due to stigma. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) states that mental health services in Ontario is also underfunded by about $1.5 billion, shows that mental health is not made a priority by the government. Mental health is a basic priority of human life which everyone should be knowledgeable and familiar with. Not enough students are educated on mental health, which leads to stigma, a lack of support, and ultimately causing an increase of poor mental health with each coming generation.
The toll on poor or unattended mental health/ illness takes on people is largely increased in high school students. 75% of mental health issues appear before the age of 25, and tend to affect student’s choices to pursue higher education and their ability to do so (“Mental Health”, 2019). Ontario Universities reported in 2016 that 46% of surveyed post-secondary students were “too depressed” to function. These results have also increased by 60% from 2013. It also affects an individual's career since 60% of students suffering from emotional, behavioral or mental health problems won’t graduate high school along with the increase in dropout rates (Arim & Frenette, 2019).These findings conclude that mental health has gotten worse for the general public over the years, and there must be change implemented soon.
Mental health is also directly linked to the stigma around the topic, as the more stigma there is, the more people are unable or afraid to get help. Stigma creates an unrealistic notion about mental illness and how those suffering from any are ‘freaks’ or creates a “spoiled identity” (Ahmedani, 2011). In a survey done in 2015, 64% of people questioned whether a coworkers mental health would affect their performance at work (“Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics”, n.d.). This alienates individuals with a mental illness from society and creates one of the largest barriers preventing people from getting treatment. The stigma also impedes the amount of support that is offered, as even though 10% of illness in Canada is mental health related, only 7% of health care funds is allocated to mental health, and on top of that, in Ontario it is $1.5 billion underfunded (“Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics”, n.d.).
Poor mental health or mental illness that is unattended can have many detrimental effects. Mental illness can cut 10 to 20 years off a person’s life along with suicide being the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-24 (“Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics”, n.d.). Suicide also takes the lives of 4000 Canadians per year, which is about 11 people per day (“Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics”, n.d.). Stat Canada also shows that 21.6% of Canadians have had a substance or alcohol abuse problem at least once in their lives. Mental health affects lives in a permanent way and takes major tolls on people’s lives.
Change is needed to approach the neglected necessity of mental health and get individual's support that is needed and deserved. Many issues regarding mental health is on a larger, federal scale, but change starts at home and can be sparked from social change in smaller communities.
Mental Health should be a priority and in order to change that, change start with YOU! Make a promise to yourself today by signing this petition to look after your own mental health, remain resilient and keep on thriving. Promise to prioritize yourself, your happiness, and your sleep over academics and other commitments, without being ashamed of taking needed breaks. So what promise do you make today?
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